April 5, 2011

New Certificate in Sustainable Systems Analysis to be Offered in Fall 2011

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Director of Nicholas Institute Center to Lead Program


DURHAM, N.C. – Armed with a new Certificate in Sustainable Systems Analysis, professional masters students in four schools at Duke University will soon be able to prove to prospective employers that they have what it takes to be innovators in making corporate sustainability profitable. 


The new two-year Certificate in Sustainable Systems Analysis (SSA) program will start in fall 2011.  It will give students in-depth working knowledge of the economic, environmental, technological and social forces driving sustainability in the global marketplace today. 


The program will be open to students pursuing degrees in environmental management at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, engineering management at the Pratt School of Engineering, public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, and business administration at the Fuqua School of Business. The Nicholas School will administer the certificate.


“With the SSA certificate, students will be able to show employers that they have the skills, knowledge and training needed to create and manage sustainable products and services that add value to the organization,” said SSA program director Jay Golden. Golden is director of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and associate professor of the practice in Nicholas School’s Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences. 


Having the SSA certificate on their resumes will make students competitive for jobs in the private for-profit sector, including global manufacturing, retailing, engineering, construction, service and consulting firms, as well as in the public and non-profit sectors, Golden says.


To earn the SSA certificate, students will be required to complete two core courses on sustainability science and sustainable systems theory; an approved elective; and a capstone project.  They also can take part in an optional summer internship and in year-round educational and networking activities, including the Nicholas School Corporate Connections Lecture Series and the Nicholas Institute Thought Leaders Lecture Series. 


It’s expected that most or all of the courses required for the certificate can be used to fulfill other graduate degree requirements.


Though broad enough to address the future-career needs of students in many disciplines, the SSA certificate curriculum will focus on three core areas, Golden says:  In-depth knowledge of sustainability sciences and sustainable systems theory as applied to global commerce; theoretical foundations and hands-on training in analytics to measure organizational or technological innovations in sustainability; and multi-disciplinary project management skills.